Dignity factors - Practical assistance: Ideas you could use

Providing staff with guidance on ‘five factors’ of privacy and dignity

These examples are taken from ‘the baker’s dozen’ in Joseph Rowntree’s ‘The older people’s enquiry: “That little bit of help (PDF file)”’ .

A) Handy Help

This section of Trafford Care and Repair is a local charitable trust providing help with small repairs around the house. Handy Help is funded by grants from the business sector and carried out 402 small jobs during 2003/2004. There is a charge of £10 per visit and the user also pays for materials (which can be bought at cost through Handy Help).

B) Welcome Home

Volunteers help people returning from hospital – for example, by doing the shopping, or giving them a lift home. They also help them to settle back at home by tidying up, putting the heating on, sorting post, etc. No charge is made for this.

C) Help at Home

Services including cleaning, ironing, accompanied shopping, collecting pensions, etc. Help at Home aims to provide the same worker at the same time each week. Users pay £8.25 an hour for domestic support. The Gardening and Home Maintenance Service was re-launched in March 2004. Users pay £12.50 an hour for this.

D) Primary Night Care

Staff ‘pop in’ to people in their own homes during the night – for example, helping with toileting, medication, or to check all is well. Most visits are planned but staff can respond to emergencies. People can be supported through the night if the usual carer is taken ill. Users are charged for routine night visits but not for emergency calls.

E) Befriending Service

Provides companionship and support through regular visits. Befrienders have undertaken training, are CRB-checked and are supported by the Community Volunteer Service. Volunteers also provide a phone buddy service.

F) Sole Mates

Provide a footbath and a foot massage for people over 50 who cannot cut their own nails safely. The same volunteer visits each time. The charge is £3.50 a visit plus a one-off charge of £10 for their nail-clippers.

G) Cinnamon Trust

A national charity helping older or terminally ill people care for their pets. They provide help by walking and grooming dogs, taking pets to the vet, cleaning cages or short-term fostering. Life-long fostering can also be arranged.

H) Digging Deep

This scheme involves older people teaching school children how to grow vegetables in school-based allotments. Volunteer older people tend to stay working with the school.


A community outreach project to ‘Reach the Isolated Elderly’. It provides transport to people to attend the regenerate.com lunch clubs four days a week. It also provides transport to take part in outings and other activities. There is an optional £10 membership and a £3 charge for eating at the lunch club.


This scheme (in Windsor and Maidenhead) aims to increase older people’s access to exercise and leisure opportunities. Other activities included Home Workout, Half Century Club, postural stability sessions, walking clubs and Health MOTs.

K) Activity and Social Centre

Run by the Wimbledon Guild, this provides the focus for older people’s support. It has its own transport and holds a range of classes, from computing to art.

L) Keeping in Touch

A service based in Malton and Norton for people with a visual impairment. Support is available for practical tasks (not personal care), such as shopping for colour-matched clothes, labelling food, filling in forms, reading letters or accompanying people. There is a small membership fee.

M) Supermarkets and Retail Stores – an ideal

A number of supermarkets took part in a small study looking at approaches that made shopping accessible for older people. This looked at seating, restaurant facilities, different approaches to delivery services, provision of information and advice, connecting services, storage for packages and “smart trolleys”, as well as ramps.